300 YEARS OF THE #vienna PORCELAIN MANUFACTORY
Press Conference Opening Exhibition Venue
Exhibition Dates Opening Hours
Tuesday, 15 May 2018, 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, 15 May 2018, 7 p.m.
MAK Exhibition Hall
MAK, Stubenring 5, 1010 Vienna
16 May – 23 September 2018
Tue 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., Wed–Sun 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
In the wide-ranging tercentenary exhibition 300 YEARS OF THE #vienna PORCELAIN MANUFACTORY, some 1 000 objects from the holdings of the MAK as well as national and international collections offer a formidable overview of the development of the second- oldest porcelain manufactory in Europe. Founded in May 1718 when the imperial privilege for porcelain production was granted to Claudius Innocentius Du Paquier, the Viennese manufactory enjoyed a fascinating and successful history. The #design and style of its prod- ucts consistently set new aesthetic standards in the early days and over the course of the 18th and 19th centuries.
The MAK has housed the estate of the #vienna Porcelain Manufactory, which was closed in 1864, since its founding years. As a result, the museum has in its possession original draw- ings, works on paper, pattern books, wax models, color trials, and sample cups, which to- gether constitute a unique resource with which to reconstruct the process of porcelain pro- duction at the Viennese manufactory. Viennese porcelain production covered a wide spec- trum of ceramics: from entire porcelain rooms to centerpieces and dinnerware sets, dé- jeuners, individual cups and vases, clock cases, high-quality porcelain sculptures and busts, scenic and floral miniatures to large-format porcelain pictures with floral still lifes.
For several centuries, Europeans saw porcelain as an expensive luxury article imported from China and Japan. It was only in the first half of the 18th century—after the naturalist Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus and the arcanist and later founder of the Meissen manufactory Johann Friedrich Böttger had discovered the secret to porcelain production— that porcelain became a luxury item that was also produced in Europe.
300 YEARS OF THE #vienna PORCELAIN MANUFACTORY lays out the history of Viennese production in the context of manufactories in Meissen, Nymphenburg, Berlin, and Frankenthal (Germany) as well as Doccia (Italy) and Sèvres (France), and shows how it is reflected in Asian porcelains and works in silver. The founding of the #vienna Porcelain Manufactory would not have been possible without intensive cultural transfer between Asia and Europe. Embedded in this international context, the MAK Exhibition offers a critical historical assessment of the manufactory’s #design legacy and its role as a model for subse- quent manufactories.
With a chronological setup, the five sections of the MAK Exhibition represent the periods that define research into the historical development of the #vienna Porcelain Manufactory: Under Claudius Innocentius du Paquier the manufactory was run as a private institution from 1718 to 1744 (Early Baroque). The so-called “sculptural period” is the name given to the era when it was an imperial institution under Maria Theresa (1744–1784). In the Classi- cism and Biedermeier period, two personalities shaped the history of the manufactory: Con- rad Sörgel von Sorgenthal (1784–1805) and Matthias Niedermayer (1805–1827). In the late Biedermeier and Historicism era, the directors Benjamin von Scholz (1827–1833), Andreas Baumgartner (1834–1843), Franz von Leithner (1843–1854), and Alexander Löwe (1856– 1864) ushered in the “chemical period.” The reestablishment of the #vienna Porcelain Manu- factory Augarten in 1923—opened in 1924—guaranteed the continuation of this outstanding chapter in Austrian art and cultural history. With a key piece, the rider from the Spanish Riding School (after a #design by Albin Döbrich, 1925), the MAK Exhibition provides an in- troduction to the products created by the Augarten Porcelain Manufactory. The MAK hous- es the molds for the rider and the estate of Albin Döbrich.
Numerous superlative examples of dinnerware sets, porcelain sculptures, and monumental objects by the manufactory after designs by artists and architects from the #vienna academy like Johann Hagenauer, Theophil Hansen, and Eduard van der Nüll provide a fascinating insight into the wealth of forms to be found in Viennese products.
The creations of the #vienna Porcelain Manufactory are brought face to face with the estate held at the MAK: illustrated volumes and ornamental engravings that served as #design tem- plates for painters as well as embossers, original sketchbooks, drawings, and watercolors by porcelain painters and teachers at the manufactory school all convey the high artistic stand- ard ensured not least by the company’s close connection with the imperial Academy of Fine Arts.
Many of the leading designers at the #vienna Porcelain Manufactory—including the master modelers Anton Grassi and Elias Hütter and the painters Johann Claudius Herr and Lau- renz Herr, Michael Daffinger, Jakob Schu(h)fried, Joseph Rieger, and Joseph Nigg—arrived as autonomous artists from their training at the academy under masters such as Franz Xa- ver Messerschmidt. Preserved in the legacy holdings, their plasters and molds, watercolor pattern books with dinnerware set designs as well as small plates with color and pattern samples reveal the impressive development of shapes and decorations at the company.
The exhibition presents the latest research findings with as yet unpublished documents on
major works by the #vienna Porcelain Manufactory, such as the porcelain room from the Dubsky Palace in Brno (ca. 1740) and the centerpiece from Zwettl Abbey (Vienna, 1767– 1768), both of which are on permanent display in the MAK Permanent Collection.
In the years 1904 and 1970, the MAK mounted wide-ranging exhibitions on Viennese porce- lain; the accompanying catalogs are still considered standard reference works today. In recent years it has been possible to scientifically reanalyze and digitize both the works on paper and the porcelains from the #vienna Porcelain Manufactory; this information is now available online via the MAK’s collection database (sammlung.mak.at).
The exhibition is accompanied by the publication 300 YEARS OF THE #vienna PORCE- LAIN MANUFACTORY, edited by Christoph Thun-Hohenstein and Rainald Franz, with texts by Rainald Franz, Andreas Gamerith, Michael Macek, Errol Manners, Waltraud Neu- wirth, Kathrin Pokorny-Nagel, A. Philipp Revertera, Elisabeth Schmuttermeier, Ulrike Scholda, Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, Leonhard Weidinger, and Johannes Wieninger. German/English, 272 pages with numerous color illustrations. MAK, Vienna/Arnoldsche Art Publishers, Stuttgart 2018. Available at the MAK #design Shop and via MAK- designshop.at.
Opening Tuesday, 15 May 2018, 7 p.m.
MAK Exhibition Hall
MAK, Stubenring 5, 1010 #vienna 16 May – 23 September 2018
Tue 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., Wed–Sun 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
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